All Bailiffs Are Class Traitors

March 3rd, 2014   Submitted by Gyorgy Furiosa

BaillifCampbell Robb, the Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Shelter, recently commented on the housing crisis in the UK, saying: “Astronomical house prices mean that millions of people are finding themselves trapped in our broken rental market with little chance of ever finding a stable place to call home.” As the government continues to slash benefits to those most in need and rent continues to rise more than earnings, 2014 will bring a wave of evictions across the UK and the whole of Europe, leading to thousands of vulnerable adults and children being forced into overcrowded hostels, temporary accommodation, friend’s sofas, and on to the streets. 18,000 people are evicted from social housing alone each year – the equivalent of the entire population of Stamford. In the UK, bailiffs are the guys who turn up to enforce those evictions. They are comparable to ‘repo men’ in the US. 

Gleefully leaping upon the excuse created by the Government´s policy of providing housing benefit at less than the actual rent of a property, Britain´s biggest property gangster Fergus Wilson has declared that he will be evicting 200 families in one sweep – a fifth of his total tenants, all of whom are on housing benefit. Quoted between mouthfuls of having his cake and eating it, he said, “Rents have gone north, and benefit levels south. The gap is such that I have taken the decision to withdraw from taking tenants on housing benefit. From what I can gather just about all other landlords have done the same. Our situation is that not one of our working tenants is in arrears – all those in arrears are on housing benefit.”

The Government’s solution? They are organizing to criminalize squatting in commercial properties, completing Mike Weatherby´s war on squatters and capitalizing on his success at criminalizing residential squatting in 2011. The 2011 Law can be seen as preparation for an economic future where tenants refusing the bailiffs and occupying their homes in defiance on the law becomes commonplace. They also plan to criminalize rough sleepers and reduce people to exchanging stamps for groceries from food-banks. Meanwhile, the lauded solution to the crisis – namely the help-to-buy scheme, by which first-time buyers are given money to support their mortgage application – is forcing property prices in London up by £100 per day. The systemic persecution of the poor is threatening to return the UK to pre-WWII social conditions.

Housing is a human right. Tenants and homeowners need to defend themselves against unscrupulous landlords and a banking system that is hopelessly corrupt and biased. Where is the bailout for the poor? Banks that went bust were bought out by the Government to keep them afloat. Those who default on mortgages or fall into rent arrears are left to sink.

Historically, this is a continuation of a feudal system of dominance and control, whereby the biggest, hardest bastards around would group together and make up some reason why they had an inherent right to rule over others, and thusly would use violence, repression, and the laws they write for themselves to murder, exploit and oppress anyone who was weaker or less organised than they were. In the past, we called them kings, lords, knights. Now, we call them politicians, police and bailiffs.

The bailiff in particular must be viewed as the lowest form of class traitor and collaborator. Bailiffs are available online for as cheap as 70 pounds per eviction. They may title themselves “sheriffs of the people”, but the only sheriff they resemble is the Sheriff of Nottingham. Next year the BBC is launching its new docu-soap, “The Sheriff’s Are Coming”, another propaganda ploy in the meme of Cops, that will work tirelessly to portray them as some kind of working class heroes, when in reality, bailiffs are the people who evict the vulnerable, elderly and impoverished out of their homes and into the streets on a daily basis. We have met bailiffs whose callous attitude to their work, always justified meekly as “just doing their job”, would squeeze a tear from a stone. It makes you wonder how they manage to compartmentalize the damage and pain they cause on a daily basis as part of their work. At least the police and politicians are able to hide behind the illusion of the public good, but even the most deluded bailiff must realize that he is the lowest form of lackey, a hired goon of the capitalist system.

Yet the number of applications for a bailiff’s license continues to rise. It’s arguably the appeal of joining the bigger firm, in the manner that those who are oppressed will learn to oppress others, in order to claw back some semblance of power and control. If you can’t beat them, join them. Bailiffs are notorious for aggressiveness and overstatement of their powers. They are unscrupulous and untrustworthy as required by their profession, and it is important for people to resist their actions and make them pay for every penny they extort from people. Remember – you don´t have to open your door to a bailiff, and as a rule, we make them smash through barricades to get in. There is a grim sense of justice to be taken in last year’s shooting of a bailiff and a housing officer during an attempted eviction in Brixton, London.

The use of violence is of course an extreme response, but one that will undoubtedly become more common as people being evicted from their homes, their neighborhoods, their communities realize that no alternative is being offered them beyond destitution and despair. People need to realize that they are not alone, that they are not the only ones this corrupt economic system wants to tread into the dirt and seize the homes of. There is the potential for national unity behind the idea that if you are being evicted, then I am being evicted. Through community-lead direct action we can resist evictions and keep people in their homes. This will force landlords, banks, bailiffs and politicians to seriously address the housing crisis and begin to consider alternative solutions. One thing is certain – putting people on the street will only deepen this crisis and lead to a spiral of social degeneration, criminalization and poverty.

25 Responses to “All Bailiffs Are Class Traitors”

  1. Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

    “Housing is a human right.”

    What makes this the case?

    Also are you anti-capitalism? Because it seems to me that if 3rd party ownership were abolished then these squatters wouldn’t have much trouble.

  2. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    You say housing is a human right. That’s likely to raise a capitalist’s hackles. It depends on how you define it. Do you mean, I have a right to own a house? Or do you mean other people should be forced to provide me a house?

    Look, the English people, by an large, are some of the most socialist/statist people in the western world. They still adore the “Royal Family” for fuck’s sake.

    In other words, English people believe in a lot of stupid fucking myths. And because they believe in these myths, they are suffering. I can’t say I have a lot of sympathy for people who believe in patently absurd myths.

    I remember watching an episode of An Idiot Abroad. He was in India. He ran across a guy who spends his days bathing in cow urine and feces because he believes it’s the elixir of the gods. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m totally okay with somebody spending their lives worshipping cow excrement. But don’t expect me to be surprised that the guy is living in complete poverty either.

    The more myths you believe in the worse off you’re going to be. English people believe in A LOT of myths and for that they suffer. The only english people I really feel sorry for, of which there are very very few, are the libertarians. Period.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      And another thing… any time I see somebody in the states get their asses beat up by the cops I think to myself “one more anarchist?”

      If you’re getting your ass beat by the cops and you still believe in the state then I can’t say I feel too sorry for you, because you clearly haven’t learned your lesson.

      You know what I would ask to any englishperson getting evicted from their home? I would ask “do you still like the “Royal Family?” If the answer is yes I’d tell them to enjoy their homelessness and leave them in the dirt to think about things a little bit more.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I also feel sorry for the children, too, I should say. It’s not their fault they were born to stupid ass parents.

      • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

        Why are the stupid ass parents that way?

        • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

          Myths get handed down from generation to generation.

          • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

            So it’s not the parents fault that their parents were fooled is it?

              • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

                You said
                “I also feel sorry for the children, too, I should say. It’s not their fault they were born to stupid ass parents.”

                And I’m making the point that those parents are the way they are because of how their parents were when they were children. So if you feel sorry for the children of indoctrinated people you should feel bad for the parents too. Both are indoctrinated.

                • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

                  No, because part of becoming an adult is taking responsibility for yourself.

                  I don’t feel sorry for the children because they were indoctrinated by myths from their parents. I feel sorry for the children because they are helpless and are at the mercy of their parents.

                  • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

                    “. I feel sorry for the children because they are helpless and are at the mercy of their parents.

                    Similar to how parents are at the mercy of the State? When does childhood end in your opinion?

                    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

                      For starters, we’re talking about belief in myths. Adults, while they may be threatened by the state, are free to stop believing in ridiculous myths any time they choose.

                      Also, children become adults at many different ages. Life isn’t one size fits all.

                    • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

                      Children are free to stop believing myths too. Whether or not they’ll admit it is another question.

                    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

                      I wasn’t talking about what children believe. I was talking about the fact that they are at their parents’ mercy.

  3. Janos SzaboNo Gravatar says:

    This PDF file debunks some misconceptions about the causes of homelessness:

    http://www.csus.edu/indiv/c/chalmersk/ECON251FA12/HousingRegulati onsCauseHomelessness.pdf

    The history of land enclosures is pertinent to this issue too. Especially in Britain.

  4. spiritspliceNo Gravatar says:

    “Housing is a human right.”

    When did we start letting Statists post here? I thought this was an anarchist page?

    • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

      Up yours spiritslice.

      • spiritspliceNo Gravatar says:

        That is a very intellectual reply. Exactly what I would expect from a Marxist.

        Do us a favor and stop pretending to be an anarchist. You are against property right and want others to be your slaves. You aren’t an anarchist. You are a statist.

        • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

          You are an authoritarian. You write a single sentence criticism, picking up on less than 1% of a concept and making that your focus.

          You believe that people should have power over each other because of a fictional idea.

          Do us a favour and stop appropriating a beautiful concept and perverting it with your misguided beliefs.

          Your whole manner of discussion disgusts me. You don’t even understand what a Marxist is, and I’m not claiming to be one.

          Go on, Spiritsplice, write something more than an insult in response to a lengthy article. You are lazy and smug and represent everything wrong with ‘anarchism’, as you know it

          So yeah. Up yours pal!

          • spiritspliceNo Gravatar says:

            Says the guy who wants to use force to provide people with housing.

            “You believe that people should have power over each other because of a fictional idea”

            Are you suggesting that property is a fictional idea? If so, how can housing be a right if property doesn’t exist? Like all socialists, your ideas are self imploding.

            I must have hit a sore spot since you have turned into an ad hom factory.

            • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

              You are right, my fellow anarchist, you have hit a sore point.

              My major issue with these kind of discussions is that, to me, it’s alot of wheelspinning, hypothetical bullshit. I am not interested so much in theory. I want praxis. In the last six weeks, I have been literally battling the forces of oppression and the State in the courts, in the streets, from behind barricades. Just two days ago, a secuirty firms heavies came to evict us and we battered their crowbars out of the door with a sledgehammer. My friend spent 8 hours on a roof to resist an illegal eviction. We have taken people off the streets and put them in houses, we have negotiated with lawyers and police and judges to prevent people with debilitating diseases from being fatally evicted. So forgive me if I have no patience to come online and swap words with you. I understand that there is value is debating these ideas, but for me, the focus must be on action and genuine struggle, rather than a collective circlejerk online. Not one hour ago, hired goons tried to fight their way in to this building, and you want to call me a Statist? To say that I want to make people my slaves? I have no more energy to argue with you, and see no point. Without vexation or frivolity, I am happy to leave you to think whatever you want, and hope to meet you on the right side of the barricades one day soon. :-)

              • spiritspliceNo Gravatar says:

                You should change your name to non sequitur.

                • Gyorgy FuriosaNo Gravatar says:

                  And you to LatinLovingArmchairRevolutionary.

                  • spiritspliceNo Gravatar says:

                    “My friend spent 8 hours on a roof to resist an illegal eviction.”

                    Since when does an “anarchist” care about the law and whether something is “illegal” or not? Anarchism isn’t about what is legal.

                    ” we have negotiated with lawyers and police and judges to prevent people with debilitating diseases from being fatally evicted. ”

                    Why do you think yo have the right to the property of others? You aren’t entitled to property because you are sick.

                    “Not one hour ago, hired goons tried to fight their way in to this building”

                    Ok, why were they paying a visit?

                    • GyorgyNo Gravatar says:

                      We don’t care whether its legal or not. We resist all evictions regardless.

                      We aren’t talking about having a right to other people’s property. We are talking about a right to housing, especially under the use-it-or-lose-it credo. If its not being used, there are people who desperately need to use it. I talk about this at length here at http://www.thelifeanarchic.com/2013/12/use-it-or-lose-it-anarcho- capitalist.html I care about people not sleeping on the street and having homes. I use direct action to make that happen. I believe in solidarity with the wretched and oppressed against tyrants and usurpers.

                      They were paying us a visit to try and take back the previous owner’s former property, which had been repossessed by a bank and was still in the building.

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